Family Issues Online

Advice For Tough Times

Has Your Parent or Grandparent Recently Started Using a Cane?

Decorative canes

In the end the conversation was easier than you expected.
You went to visit your mother for the weekend not only to spend time with her, but to also make sure that you had a conversation with her about needing to start the use of a cane for walking. To your surprise, when your mother came out to greet you when you arrived in her driveway, she was walking with a small carbon fiber cane. Jumping for joy on the inside, you simply gave her a hug, and kiss on the cheek, and acted as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
You could easily identify the can that she was using because it was, in fact, one of the three canes that you had in the back of your trunk. After visiting with a pharmaceutical representative at your local grocery store, you had actually purchased some canes to bring to your mom. The bariatric canes were what the pharmacy employee suggested, but you had also picked out one of the umbrella canes, and a rather dressy sample with brass cane handles. You anticipated that you would likely be taking all three of your suggestions back and that you would allow your mom to bring up the topic herself. By spending one night and two days you would get a real feel for how often your mom was using the cane around her house. You expected, however, that the cane would be a conversation you would have, but it likely would be a topic that your mother first addressed. For now, you were happy to just be following her into the house and having a piece of her famous rhubarb crisp with a scoop of ice cream and also a cup of coffee.
Conversations About the Use of Bariatric Canes and Other Health Topics Are Not Also Easy
We all have times in our lives where it is difficult to admit that we might need a little extra help. It is important, however, that if those admissions are tough to handle that we treat them with both respect and dignity. No one, not even a parent or a grandparent, wants to be told what to do, but it is often necessary to make sure that you have a conversation about declining health issues that might require the use of a can to stay safe and healthy.
Consider some of these facts about the use of walking aides and other mobility devices:

  • 25% of older adults fall every year in the U.S< In many cases, these are falls that could have been prevented with the use of bariatric canes and other kinds of walking aides.
  • 4.8 million Americans walk with a cane, making canes the most widely used mobility devices in the U.S. This means that 70% of mobility device users select a cane as their best option.
  • 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices like canes to aid and increase their mobility
  • One of every four Americans age 85 and over uses a mobility device.
  • 10.2% of Americans age 65 and over use a cane.
  • 22.3% of cane users indicate that their limited mobility is caused by osteoarthritis.

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